beautiful birthday

There are many perks to the fact that The Man now works 9-5 at the same university that I do. Today was proof that it is actually EPIC because we took a lunch break together and actually went into the city to celebrate his birthday with an amazing meal.

The weather was gorgeous, the cherry trees all in bloom, and WE FOUND PARKING! Around the lunch rush that is no small feat in Philly. After checking out the menu online, The Man decided he wanted to check out City Tap House and oh what an amazing choice! They have a fabulous outside seating deck which is on the second floor (with plenty of umbrellas!) so we got to take full advantage of the gorgeous weather.

The Man had The Tap Burger which had an amazing dijonaise, and I chose the Tartufo flatbread pizza with truffle oil, roasted mushrooms, and a fried egg. I was a bit skeptical about the pizza, but took it on recommendation of the waitress and told her when she asked how our food was that I wanted to hug the person who thought of the creation. Our lunch was AMAZING and we were full without being disgustingly stuffed.

When we got home, we set up the fire pit and talked to the neighbors. ‘Tis the season that we’re all outside when we get home from work. Dinner tonight was spent with one of our friends and we picked up some seasoned chicken cutlets – some with a bourbon sauce, some with garlic and pepper – and made zucchini and sweet potato fries.

It was an amazing day with The Man, who I am blessed to have. We have ups and downs and challenges with the house and work, but at the end of the day, I know I have a partner, that we’re on the same team, that we’ll get through it. We kiss, say I love you, and start over the next morning. Happy Birthday, love. Here’s to many more happy days.

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tis the season to be CRAZY BUSY

I think this is the first weekend since September that the Man and I don’t have an event or formal plans. I really have no idea where the early, warm fall days went, but I’m so excited for the weeks ahead!

In the time that I’ve been noticeably neglecting the blog, we had a Marine Corps ball and wedding, both of which were fantastic. I can’t remember the last time I danced in high heels so much in one weekend!

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But as much fun as we’ve had, I’m really looking forward to this weekend. I have some house DIY projects up my sleeve, all my wool winter sweaters to wash and block for the season, and of course Thanksgiving to plan out!

I don’t think I’d know what to do with myself if I wasn’t crazy busy.

Can we go back to the weather from Easter please?

I can’t believe how (comparatively) cold and windy and bleak it has seemed the past two days when it was so gorgeous this past weekend. As this weekend looms I’m just hoping for more blue skies and warm winds to grace us.  I love spring and seeing the flowers and the grass growing and the birds returning to the yard, but cold days like today are such a slap in the face.

Our Easter weekend was very quiet but absolutely lovely.  The Man and I started out the weekend by picking up a dog crate off of Craigslist and meeting some amazing dogs at our local shelter. We even took one special girl out for a walk and LOVED her but she just wasn’t “the one” for us (shout out to June and all the amazing folks at Delco SPCA!) The rest of the day was spent at a wonderful lunch (where I got a sunburn on the back of my neck – forgot I chopped my hair!), mailed my mom’s birthday gift, and then did work in the yard. We ended our evening by having a dear friend over for dinner and broke out the grill for the first meal of the season.

Then came Easter Sunday. The weather was perfect, clear blue skies, and the Man and I were getting dressed to walk to church when he stopped me and asked, “What did you do to your leg?” I looked down and lo and behold I had a friend! It was a tick. GAH! Freaking out commenced, along with the discovery that we do not own tweezers.  A set of pliers and band aid later, though, and we were off to church.

Because the weather was so gorgeous, we went home, settled on the patio with coffee, and called our parents. Then the big meal of the day (as the Man had to work) was brunch!

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I made the most AMAZING white bread in our machine the day before so we made French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage. It was so gorgeous out we decided to just eat outside.

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And then I decided we needed a festive Easter picture (and no, they weren’t Mimosas… I just have lapses in judgement sometimes).

IMG_20140420_104653_648Even though the Man had to go to work, it was a gorgeous day. I just can’t wait for this weekend to get back outside and finish seeding our lawn and start stripping the paint off a door (which will be my first project for the season!) and hopefully, this time, no ticks. On the plus side, for those wondering, I have no “bulls eye” and am on preventative meds – yay.

So happy hump day! And I hope all your bunny holidays were happy too!

 

on the road

It’s rare these days that I get to take a vacation, especially because as an admissions person this is my craziest time of year. BUT… when you have a conference to go to in Memphis, what do you do? You tell your husband to take off, pack up, and come along!

So, in a crazy five days, we traveled through 7 states, saw amazing things, and actually got to spend time together.

I can’t wait to share pictures of the trip, and will continuing editing and posting over the next few weeks.  Crazy time of year always means very little blogging for me, but thank you for sticking around, and stay posted!

 

three years down…

It’s not often that I take a day off from work. Recently it feels like I’m neglecting everything in my personal life. Laundry takes the back burner until the last minute, I don’t dust as often as I’d want to, cooking has become a necessity and hurried rather than a joy, the cats don’t get their weekly brushings, and until recently my car hadn’t been cleaned in months.  While those are little examples, they’re part of a larger epidemic of me neglecting my own life.

I have two glorious days off this week – today and tomorrow. And today is very special indeed. It’s our third wedding anniversary. So instead of waking up, hurrying to chug down coffee and spend thirty minutes of the total of 4 hours I usually get with my husband, I got to sleep in late, have the Man make me breakfast, open cards from loved ones, and we actually went to the movies. THE MOVIES! A LUXURY!

It’s not the romantic anniversary that most people would plan, but I had such a good day that I’m having trouble coming down from the high. And it wasn’t totally devoid of romance. And the flowers I was given didn’t hurt either.

So thank you, my dearest. Three years down, many more to go.

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i missed earth day but…

It has been a crazy few weeks here at casa de restoration (it sounds good but I didn’t take Spanish so that is probably wrong…) and I can’t wait to share with you the recent crazy!

Last week, The Man turned 31  so I took off Monday and Tuesday to celebrate. And by celebrate, I mean he had drill on Saturday and Sunday and we didn’t get to do anything, and we spent Monday and Tuesday attacking the gardens! I would say that he was disappointed, but after a weekend at drill, he seemed happy that we went out for a birthday sushi lunch pre-gardening.

The amount of gardening refuse we accumulate whenever I decide I’m going to garden “just for a little bit” (which invariably turns into 4 hours or so) has been amazing.  I think the Man wanted to kill me last week when we had to take it to the curb. (And I think the garbage men may kill me if I continue on this trend…)

alllllllll from the garden

alllllllll from the garden

What pisses me off most is that my little yellow collapsible gardening bag was taken by the garbage men. And by taken, I mean they threw it out.  So while I am in mourning for my favorite gardening garbage receptacle, I soldiered on.

I meant to share these pics with you for Earth Day, and I missed the boat, but better late than never!  If you remember, a few weeks ago I began attacking the front of the house by removing some bushes. While the Man was at drill, the attack continued! This time, I drafted some friends.

Meet Kat.

hi Kat!

hi Kat!

Kat is my very tall friend who can reach things that I can’t. He is also has INFINITELY cooler power tools than I do.  While he originally came over to use my driveway with my painting friend, Julie, I innocently asked him for his opinion on removing the columns and he either a. decided I couldn’t be trusted with tools or b. figured I was just pretending to be clueless and he was going to get roped into helping anyway.

2013-04-14 17.35.18Kat was able to unscrew everything holding the columns together and find the seams to split the columns apart in about half the time it took me to get the ladder and find the battery to my drill. We already knew that the columns were not supporting anything so we were surprised to find a giant wooden 4×4 inside each of them.

4x4 brought to you by Kat and Julie

4×4 brought to you by Kat and Julie

Once the columns were off, we found a surprise:

2013-04-14 17.42.42A bazillion anchors that fell THROUGH the columns when the Man and I tried to attach a flag holder to it. After the third time the flag holder came loose on a windy day, my hatred of the columns was confirmed, and the columns’ death note was signed, sealed, and delivered. I cannot tell you the squeals of joy that erupted from me as the beams came down. And the transformation is truly amazing.

Before:

before

AFTER:

tada!

tada!

Rest assured, there is a master plan to this transformation, albeit a slow going plan. However, I’m already in love with how the front of the house is opened up. The columns just don’t go with the period of our house, and now we had room to put our bench on the front steps, which I’ve wanted to do since we scored it at an estate sale the summer we moved in.

bench love

bench love

Monday and Tuesday moved to tackling the ivy in the backyard. And by tackling, I mean I have a vendetta against the ivy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen we moved in the house, we had no idea that the pavers along the back of our property existed. Why? BECAUSE THEY WERE EATEN BY IVY. One of the reasons I hate the ivy so much is because we have gorgeous day lilies and yucca plants that were so overgrown you could barely see them.  While I made a lot of progress last year, it truly is a battle to get to the ivy roots and remove them without damaging the other plants. Over the fall the ivy started creeping back over the pavers, but after a few hours of work, I think it came out pretty good!

clean again!

clean again!

I have to say that removing the ivy is backbreaking, but the satisfaction afterwards is immeasurable.

post ivy-pulling glow

post ivy-pulling glow

All in all, the 4 day gardening extravaganza was a success.  AND I’m very excited because I finally get to use our rehabbed wheelbarrow (a $5 score at an estate sale!).

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And when all was said and done, I finally sat back and relaxed.  As the two year anniversary of being in the house looms, I can’t wait to show you the continuing projects, inside and out. If you had told me a few years ago that this is what I would be getting joy from, I would have told you that you were crazy.  But here I am, and I couldn’t be happier with the house, and myself.  Happy belated Earth Day!

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tick tock

It seems like there is never enough time. Always an endless pile of laundry, dishes to be cleaned, dust bunnies lurking in corners. And add to that my projects. There are baseboards to be painted, radiator covers to be refinished, and paint swatches to decide on.

Recently the man started a new job. We were thrilled because we would be working at the same place.  The only problem? They put him on the night shift.

So now there are 3 waking hours every day that we can spend together. I have weekends off, he doesn’t. When I’m getting ready for bed, he’s getting ready for work. And I don’t sleep when he’s not home.

It’s been quite an adjustment for both of us.  The kitchen remains undecorated, but enjoyed every day even if it’s just making a cup of coffee. I’m still amazed some days how much lighter and happier the kitchen feels.  The red backsplash pops, the floor invites you in, and the cabinets and walls look clean.

We’ve purchased a few items, but we’re not done yet. I’ve narrowed down what phone we’re getting, we got a vintage style microwave (yes, they exist!), and even an antique depression glass juicer scored at a recent estate sale.  The pieces are coming together.

So sometime soon, dear readers, I will update you. But for now I’m enjoying the minutes I have with the man – every one – and just letting the house be.